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Accessibility and Civil Disobedience

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message 1: by Eric (last edited Dec 16, 2014 05:22AM) (new)

Eric Mesa (djotaku) | 635 comments There are just a handful of issues that get me really riled up to the point that my heart starts racing. One is picking on people with disabilities. Today I read about how blind readers just narrowly got the DRM exception last time and are fighting hard for it again. ( http://www.wired.com/2014/12/e-books-... )

One of the things I enjoy about reading science fiction is getting to see a world where technology has done amazing things (even if it's a crap-sack world for the proles as in The Hunger Games trilogy). In the past we had a financial limitation on providing accessibility for the blind - it cost money to produce Braille versions of every book. But we're in the future now - we have gosh darned ELECTRONIC books. It is FREE to have text to speech read to the blind. They should be able to experience every single traditional book that I can. (Traditional meaning, not some of the new multimedia books coming out which are kinda visual novels - making it harder for a blind person to get the gist)

It's pretty messed up that we have the technology and we deny it to the blind over stupid mega-corps. The only solution is civil disobedience - using illegal programs to remove the restrictions so the blind can read the books they should have the right to read as a human being capable of understanding the words they are reading.

It really puts in perspective my removal of DRM just so I can be sure I can read the book in the future when the DRM validation servers are taken offline. At least I can read it...

I'm somewhat cynic-ed out after the past few years without progress, but if anyone thinks a shame campaign against the publishers who do this would work, I'd lend my skills and/or web hosting space to help make it happen.


message 2: by Shad (new)

Shad (splante) | 353 comments The really sad part is that it would not be that difficult to change things so that the visually impaired could get access to books, even with DRM. A system could be setup where if you meet certain standards for visual impairment, you could always get access to text to speech for ebooks. Even if the publishers wanted to protect their audiobook revenue, they could at least allow the visually impaired to access TTS for titles not available as audiobooks.

They could keep their precious DRM in place then and still allow access to the visually impaired. You are right that the current setup is not right.


message 3: by Eric (new)

Eric Mesa (djotaku) | 635 comments Shad wrote: "The really sad part is that it would not be that difficult to change things so that the visually impaired could get access to books, even with DRM. A system could be setup where if you meet certai..."

I think the audiobook argument the publishers put out pisses me off the most. It's really either braindead or taking the piss out of audiobook voice actors. Because TTS sounds like garbage. It's just good enough for someone who can't read. Audiobook voice actors are often extremely talented with different voices for different characters. And some of them even have background music and effects.


message 4: by Pat (new)

Pat (patthebadger) | 100 comments Its really hard not to be cynical but the sad truth is that we live in a world where money is more important than people & not enough people care enough change it.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Pat wrote: "Its really hard not to be cynical but the sad truth is that we live in a world where money is more important than people & not enough people care enough change it."

Or people care but they're not the ones with the money to change it.


message 6: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4148 comments I was wondering what the problem was because I found the text to speech feature on my kindle years ago. Never really made use of it so I missed that debate. Yeah, it's ridiculous to force readers to consume the book they purchase in only one way. What's next, charging parents extra to read to their children?


message 7: by Eric (new)

Eric Mesa (djotaku) | 635 comments John wrote: "I was wondering what the problem was because I found the text to speech feature on my kindle years ago. Never really made use of it so I missed that debate. Yeah, it's ridiculous to force readers t..."

I bet they would if they could. They already don't make it easy to share within a family.


message 8: by Aaron (new)

Aaron Nagy | 379 comments Eric wrote: "John wrote: "I was wondering what the problem was because I found the text to speech feature on my kindle years ago. Never really made use of it so I missed that debate. Yeah, it's ridiculous to fo..."

I never had a problem with it...there is no limit to the number of devices you can have on one account...and ebook sharing is really easy. I guess the problem is if everyone has different accounts but I'm the book buyer and everyone else just uses my account.

Main 2 complaints would be a lack of ways to transfer kindle books though the kindle app. Also the lack of ways to share audiobooks. I guess you can't have multiple accounts per device but once you allow that it gets silly. I think they stuck to requiring one account per device to force a bit more trust between all members aka family, rather then what you have with PSN sharing back in the hey-day and still have now to a lesser degree.


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